Genetic clues for finding and treating cardiovascular disease (CVD)

The status of research identifying CVD genes, testing to predict CVD, and developing genetically-based medication is the focus of the spring conference of the American Physiological Society (APS)

February 19, 2002 San Francisco One in four Americans are affected by cardiovascular disease (CVD). Accordingly, it is the nations leading killer of Americans, striking without regard to sex or race. Nearly a dozen of the nations top research investigators from the fields of genetics, genetic testing, gene transfer, gene therapy and gene-based medicines are presenting the status of their work along with new insights and forecasts of the future. Discussions about the research now underway at the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, the University of Pennsylvania and other leading research sites are part of the three-day spring conference of the American Physiological Society (APS). The conference, entitled Physiological Genomics of Cardiovascular Disease, is being held February 20-23, 2002, in San Francisco.

The mutations of human genes have been found to be responsible for more than 4,000 diseases. Some disorders are caused by the mutation (defect) of a single gene, as is the case of sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis (CF) and Alzheimers disease (AD). By contrast, the family of disorders that constitute CVD typically result from more than one mutated gene. For example:

More than 300 genes have so far been associated with cardiac hypertrophy.
Genetic factors are believed to be responsible for approximately two-thirds of the cases of high blood pressure (hypertension).
Responsibility genes have been identified as the specific cause of dilated cardiomyopathy and another six susceptibility genes have been noted.

CVD may also result form the interaction between genetics and their interaction with the environment, defined as smoking, obesity and the like.

Program Highlights<

Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society

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